One dusty, hot summer afternoon in some Egyptian village, I watched my mom pantomime conversations with locals she hoped to photograph. I followed her down a little dirt road and into a shop where she approached a butcher teaching his son how to process meat. Watching her, I longed to also build rapport with perfect strangers and tell a tiny, beautiful story about them even when our lives and languages were wildly different.
The camera is an alienating force; turning it into a tool for connecting became a life-giving journey that has taught me how to be a more empathetic human. With every person I photograph, I look forward to the challenge of shaping an encounter that is comfortable yet not superficial.
I’m a fanatic of hiking, camping, waking up before sunrise and listening to nerdy podcasts. I can’t help but awkwardly dance a little at every wedding. Wherever I go, I love to find the quiet person in the corner because they usually have the most to say.
photo by Julia Kinkela